On or before May 1, 2013, cities and counties across Colorado will mail 2013 Notices of Valuation announcing new real property values. Property owners in the City and County of Denver, however, can expect to find longer protest windows and fewer procedural steps thanks to a pilot program recently passed by the Colorado Legislature and the Denver City Council.

This is a welcome change of pace. In the past, taxpayers had very short windows in which to object to and protest their property tax valuations. Under the pilot program, taxpayers now have until November 15 to file protests of excessive valuations. Owners of property in multiple Colorado counties should be especially aware of the new deadline, however, because protests in other counties continue to be due 30 days from the mailing date of the Notice of Valuation.

Under the pilot program, business personal property Notices of Valuation will be mailed to Denver property owners on July 15, instead of June 15 as in prior years. Protests for business personal property are also due November 15.

Aside from longer filing deadlines, the pilot program simplifies the procedure for protests. Under the pilot program, the multiple steps in the current valuation dispute process are combined into a single appeal conducted by the Board of County Commissioners.

Taxpayers should not wait until November 15 to prepare and file their protests, though. Protests not decided by the Board by December 1 will become petitions for abatement or refund. Because the Board will hear appeals throughout the year, taxpayers should consider filing protests sooner rather than later.